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Archived Articles on Health, Poverty and Development


Health, Poverty and Development

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Violence Makes Women and Girls More Vulnerable to HIV/AIDS: WHO (December 1, 2004)

The World Health Organization warns that violence against women severely affects the spread of HIV/AIDS. Therefore, action against the abuse of women must form an integral part of the global response to HIV/AIDS, states the organization. Unless governments, organizations and donors highlight the importance of women's protection, contamination prevention and treatment, the disease will remain a global threat. (YouandAIDS)

AIDS in India, China and Russia Nears 'Tipping Point,' UN Says (December 1, 2004)

On the 2004 World AIDS Day, the United Nations agency UNAIDS raises special concerns about the spread of the pandemic in countries like China, India and Russia. The organization warns that local clusters of the disease risk becoming outbreaks that may potentially endanger both the global economy and international security. (Washington Post)

Goodbye to Cheap Indian AIDS Drugs? (November 26, 2004)

Two major Indian producers of generic HIV/AIDS drugs have voluntarily removed the antiretroviral from the World Health Organization's list of approved medicines. Health related nongovernmental organizations fear that the unexpected self-suspension is due to the country's planned compliance with the World Trade Organization's standards for Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, which may make generic drugs illegal from January 2005. (Inter Press Service)

UN Sounds Grim Global Warning on AIDS (November 23, 2004)

The United Nations estimates that by the end of 2004, the AIDS pandemic will have killed 3.1 million people, the highest death toll since the disease was discovered in 1981. Even though Asia and Eastern Europe account for the regions where the virus is spreading the most swiftly, the situation is most alarming in sub-Saharan Africa, where 25 million people are infected with the disease. (Mail & Guardian)

US Suggests AIDS Fund Delay Grants (November 17, 2004)

Under the pretext of insufficient contributions for the United Nations Global Fund to Fight AIDS, the US administration suggests the fund should take a break from issuing grants. While both countries and private donors have failed to reach the $20 billion dollars a year needed to combat AIDS, critics fear that US reluctance towards the UN program will reduce pressure on donors to step up their giving and result in the loss of many lives. (New York Times)

Global Obesity Epidemic 'Out of Control' (November 1, 2004)

As poor countries still struggle with the legacy of malnutrition, the fast rise in obesity paradoxically emerges as a serious threat to health and development. A South African conference on obesity concludes that fear of AIDS, throughout the African continent nicknamed "slim," dissuades people from losing weight. As a result, South African obesity levels equal those in the US. (New Zealand Herald)

AIDS and the Larger Context: Antiretroviral Access Data and Prospects for the Future (October 4, 2004)

This article asserts that poverty and inequality represent the main causes of HIV/AIDS. Further, the text counters corporate arguments that generic antiretroviral drugs undermine research and development and points out that despite poor success in finding cures, the pharmaceutical companies have established themselves as the most profitable industry in the world. (ZNet)

IMF Policies Spread AIDS, Groups Charge (September 27, 2004)

The economic conditions the International Monetary Fund (IMF) imposes on poor countries "undermin[e] the global fight against the HIV/AIDS," concludes the report Blocking Progress, issued by four humanitarian agencies. In fear of breaking the IMF's austerity programs, governments in poor countries support policies that lead to the spread of the epidemic. (One World)

Africa's Health-Care Brain Drain (August, 13, 2004)

Paradoxically, the poorest countries in the world provide major quantities of medical knowledge through the exodus of nurses and doctors to the richest countries. The medical brain drain from poor countries, primarily fueled by nursing shortages in the wealthy nations, creates serious obstacles for poor countries in their fight against HIV/AIDS. (New York Times)

Early Tests for US in Its Global Fight on AIDS (July, 14, 2004)

The Bush administration has championed the fight against AIDS as one of its primary humanitarian endeavors. However, the methods it enlists, including non-generic drug treatment and abstinence-based prevention programs, are an inefficient way to address the epidemic. These strategies are not prioritized by other healthcare groups, who had hoped for multilateral cooperation in fighting the epidemic. As a result the US efforts are seen as another unilateral exertion of values and power. (New York Times)

AIDS Defeating World's Best Efforts As Record Numbers Are Infected (July 7, 2004)

The global rate of new HIV infections in 2003 was the highest since the recognition of the disease. The bi-annual UN Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic describes the worsening situations around the world, highlighting critical severity in both Asia and Africa and heightened risk for women. UN officials report, "the world is falling short on prevention," and prevention--ranging from women's empowerment and education to access to contraception--is the only way to stop this epidemic. (Guardian)

UNODC Chief Warns Kyrgyzstan Against Drug/HIV Epidemic (May 27, 2004)

Antonio Maria Costa, Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) warned that the trafficking of Afghan opium and heroin through Central Asia places Kyrgyzstan at risk of a severe AIDS problem. Costa argued that Kyrgyzstan's government must tackle the spread of HIV/AIDS and drug addiction simultaneously. (UN Wire)

AIDS Complicating Battle against Hunger, Says WFP Executive Director (May 11, 2004)

James Morris, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), has testified before the US Congress that AIDS exacerbates the world's growing hunger problem. Morris explained to Congress members that food aid is critical to help people fight HIV/AIDS as good nutrition allows people to "fight off the infection, regain strength and live productively."

China Takes Urgent Steps to Curb AIDS Spread (May 9, 2004)

According to a report by China's Ministry of Health, the HIV epidemic covers all of China's mainland 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. Despite free treatment for the poor, and the establishment of AIDS control centers, experts believe that the Chinese government must take further measures, such as enhancing management of blood banks, to stop the further spread of HIV/AIDS in the country. (China View)

Botswana Mobilizes Leaders in All Sectors to Fight HIV/AIDS Epidemic (April 26, 2004)

With 40 percent of people aged between 15 and 49 living with HIV/AIDS in Botswana, Dr. Banu Khan, head of the country's National AIDS Coordinating Agency, argues that this scourge threatens the country's education, health, transport and socio-economic infrastructure. (UNDP)

Black Market AIDS Drugs Proliferate In Africa (April 14, 2004)

Germany's Der Spiegel magazine has reported that many HIV-positive Africans are relying on the black market for AIDS medicines, which are often toxic and ineffective. This article argues that, for the 25 million HIV-positive sub Saharan Africans, this is an act of "desperation." (UN Wire)

Plan to Battle AIDS Worldwide Is Falling Short (March 28, 2004)

Financial shortfalls and battles over patents have kept antiretroviral drugs from reaching more than 90 percent of people in poor countries. Stephen Lewis, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa argues that global contributions to AIDS medicine "come to a tiny fraction of what is being spent on military operations and building civilian institutions in Iraq and Afghanistan." (New York Times)

World's Highest Rate of HIV Infection (March 19 2004)

In Swaziland, 38.6 percent of the population suffer from HIV infection, the highest rate in the world. Stephen Lewis, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa has criticized the international community for "doing little other than watch for 20 years as AIDS swept across Africa." (IRIN)

African AIDS Drug Plan Faces Collapse (March 14, 2004)

The US has balked at financially supporting a UN project that seeks to provide 3 million HIV-infected patients in Africa with antiretroviral drugs by 2005. AIDS activists argue that large pharmaceutical companies' opposition to the project's use of combination "fixed-dose medicines," motivated the US decision. (Observer)

A Focus on Women and AIDS (March 3, 2004)

Over half of HIV/AIDS sufferers in sub-Saharan Africa are women and girls. Their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS requires "innovative efforts" from international aid donors such as providing HIV/AIDS information, prevention, testing and treatment facilities, legal support and resources. (Boston Globe)

Breaking the Barriers: Partnership to Fight HIV/AIDS in Europe and Central Asia (February 24, 2004)

HIV/AIDS is a "threat to global development." As an increasing number of young people contract the virus, economies and development processes suffer from the loss of wage earners. Mary Robinson urges the international community to combat this epidemic by confronting marginalization of victims and sponsoring comprehensive, progressive, prevention programs. (Ethical Globalization Initiative)

UN: AIDS a Crisis in E. Europe (February 18, 2004)

The UN has warned that "complacent regional leaders" in Russia and Eastern Europe need to act on the serious threats HIV/AIDS pose to health care systems and economic growth. UNDP head, Mark Malloch Brown, described Russia and the region as being "on the edge of disaster." (Washington Post)

AIDS Budget Cut Angers South African Activists (February 3, 2004)

The South African Government has cut, without explanation, its AIDS budget by two-thirds, a decision that angers and frustrates AIDS healthcare advocates. (Panapress)



WHO Aims to Treat 3 Million for AIDS (December 1, 2003)

6 million of the 40 million people infected with AIDS immediately need antiretroviral treatment. As only 480,000 out of those actually receive a drug treatment, the World Health Organization launched its ambitious "3 by 5" plan, aiming at delivering antiretroviral drugs to 3 million AIDS patients by 2005. (New York Times)

Cuba: Is It a Model in HIV/AIDS-Battle? (December 2003)

When the first AIDS cases appeared in Cuba in the 1980s, the government declared the disease a public health emergency. Without any anti-retroviral drugs, Cuba set up an efficient and comprehensive approach combining both prevention and care. Today, Cuba's HIV infection rate is one of the lowest in the world. Panos argues that other countries should learn from this rare success story.

Rural Haitians Are Vanguard in AIDS Battle (November 29, 2003)

This New York Times article describes a successful pioneer project of AIDS treatment in Haiti. One of the biggest obstacles to efficient AIDS treatment in poor countries is the extreme scarcity of doctors, nurses and high-tech equipment. Therefore, the project enlists unemployed villagers to regularly visit patients every morning and make sure that they take their medicine.

HIV Epidemic Threatens Asia (November 26, 2003)

While Sub-Saharan Africa most severely feels the impact of the AIDS epidemic, the disease threatens to submerge Eastern Europe and Asia. The AIDS Epidemic Update 2003, released by UNAIDS and the WHO, warns that India, Indonesia, China and Russia are particularly at risk. (Science and Development Net)

The Vicious Circle of Aids and Poverty (November 17, 2003)

Southern Africa faces a deadly combination of drought and HIV/AIDS, crippling its social system and affecting doctors, teachers, farmers and many essential service providers. (BBC)

Cheap HIV Drugs for Africa Threatened by Domestic Politics (November 4, 2003)

Domestic political changes threaten Canada's plans to relax its patent rules to produce generic HIV drugs. Prime Minister Chrétien feels rising internal pressure to resign earlier, which could postpone the required legislation for at least one more year. Yet, the UN and NGOs push for a quick amendment to the patent law. (Inter Press Service)

Robbing the Poor to Pay the Rich? (November 2003)

This Oxfam International piece examines the negative effects of TRIPS, or US-supported World Trade Organization patent rules. The report condemns the US government for colluding with influential pharmaceutical lobby group PhRMA to implement these patent rules that increase the cost of drugs abroad by 800 percent. Although the US promised in the Doha Round to promote "access to medication for all," these restrictions prevent the poor from accessing desired treatments.

Bush's AIDS Test (October 9, 2003)

Despite US President Bush's "commitments" to combat AIDS, he exploits the NAFTA regime to urge Canada not to export generic drugs to poor countries. The entry of Latin American countries to the Free Trade Area of the Americas will expose them to similar – or even greater - US pressure on generic drugs, warns Naomi Klein in The Nation.

World Neglects 1.2 Billion Youth, Warns UNFPA (October 8, 2003)

At the 1994 population summit in Cairo, the international community pledged to provide one third of the costs of a package of population and reproductive health services in poor countries. Yet it failed to do so, increasing poverty among the world's adolescents and contributing to the rapid spread of AIDS. (Inter Press Service)

AIDS Plan Could Take 2 Years, Firms Say (October 3, 2003)

Canadian ministers want to implement the WTO agreement on intellectual property, and produce generic AIDS drugs for export to poor countries. Drug companies agreed to take the lead in this effort to increase poor people's access to affordable anti-retroviral drugs. But the process of putting the idea into practice encounters obstacles … (Globe and Mail)

State Moves to Outlaw AIDS Discrimination (September 24, 2003)

Kenya's government took a bold step in fighting society's stigmatization of AIDS sufferers. It approved a bill which makes it a criminal offence for employers to sack employees because of their HIV status. The bill also addresses the rights of AIDS sufferers to access medicine, privacy and quality healthcare. (Daily Nation, Kenya)

Bush Administration's Global Gag Rule Jeopardizing Health Care, Weakening HIV/AIDS Prevention and Endangering Lives (September 24, 2003)

The Bush administration extended its Mexico City Policy, also dubbed the "Global Gag Rule," and completely banned the funding of organizations that support "abortion-related services." Population Action International warns that this policy will undermine NGOs' ability to provide medically ethical information, and impede efforts of preventing AIDS.

African Clerics Rethink AIDS Stance (September 24, 2003)

African clerics condemned AIDS for a long time because of its links to sexual taboos. Realizing the real dimension of the epidemic, the continent's Christian and Muslim bodies seem to fundamentally change their stance, and begin to offer support to people infected with AIDS. (Christian Science Monitor)

A Health Care Emergency (September 13 – 26, 2003)

India's pharmaceutical companies took the lead in reducing the prices of anti-retroviral AIDS drugs and offered generic drugs at 3.5 percent of their global prices. Despite this commendable progress, the Indian government does not distribute free AIDS drugs to its 4 million citizens afflicted with the disease. (Frontline, India)

Women Battle with Culture in order to Fight AIDS (September 9, 2003)

In Swaziland, where 39 percent of the adult population has AIDS, women often have no other choice than working to sustain their families. Yet, customary law considers them as legal minors and denies them the rights to work or to own property. (Inter Press Service)

Africans Outdo Americans in Following AIDS Therapy (September 3, 2003)

This New York Times article states that African patients follow their AIDS pill regimens more thoroughly than their US counterparts. The prohibitive cost and scarcity of AIDS drugs cause clinics to set high hurdles for patients to qualify for treatment, and families with several infected members can often afford drugs only for one member.

Bangladesh: Brutality Fueling HIV/AIDS (August 20, 2003)

Human Rights Watch accuses the Bangladeshi government of exacerbating an emerging AIDS epidemic by sending corrupt military and para-military forces to fight crime and prostitution.

China Meets AIDS Crisis with Force (August 18, 2003)

As AIDS spreads across the countryside, the Chinese government proves unable to implement an efficient health care system, using police, and not doctors, to confront the crisis. Activists fear a misuse of funding and urge the Global Fund to withhold UN aid from China. (Washington Post)

South Africa Says It Will Fight AIDS with a Drug Plan (August 9, 2003)

After years of ignoring the AIDS epidemic devastating the country, the South African government has announced it will develop a public health plan offering antiretroviral drugs. The HIV-infected population greets the decision as a first sign of hope. (New York Times)


South Africa AIDS Pandemic Enters ‘Valley of Death' (August 4, 2003)

HIV/AIDS prevalence in South Africa is starting to plateau at around 33 percent, but action is now more necessary than ever. The epidemic is entering the "death" phase as sharply rising mortality rates threaten the continent's most vibrant economy. (Reuters)


Anti-Aids Drugs Offer Little Hope (August 4, 2003)

For Ethiopian citizens suffering from AIDS, the drug treatment available is simply too expensive. Therefore, the Ethiopian government wants to ensure greater supply of medicine at a reduced cost by importing generic drugs and seeking financial support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria. (UN Integrated Regional Information Networks)


Speech by the UN Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa (August 3, 2003)

Stephen Lewis stated that South Africa should implement a national plan to provide treatment to its millions of citizens suffering of AIDS, emphasizing the numerous UN human rights treaties that oblige South Africa to implement health policies. (United Nations)


AIDS, Empire, and Public Health Behaviorism (August 2, 2003)

Current anti-AIDS efforts focusing on prevention education assume that poor people have sufficient means to control the circumstances of their lives. Sanjay Basu argues that public health initiatives to fight AIDS must seek to improve socio-economic environments and health infrastructure. (ZNet)


Global Fund to Fight Aids Gives Zambia $192m Grant (August 1, 2003)

Zambia's Board of Health, churches, and NGOs will receive funds over the next five years. But money won't go too far in the fight against AIDS unless both government and private companies implement HIV/AIDS policy for citizens and workers. (AllAfrica)


AIDS' Devastating Economic Impact (July 24, 2003)

The deceivingly low percentage of people with AIDS in highly populous countries like India and China still amounts to millions of AIDS sufferers in the region. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, UNESCAP, contends that the socio-economic damage of AIDS poses a dangerous threat to growing Asian economies. (Asia Times)


Economic Costs of AIDS (July 23, 2003)

The World Bank Group points out that the loss of human capital to HIV/AIDS will cause the economic collapse of many highly infected countries. Therefore, World Bank funding must be channeled toward local community health programs and international organizations working to preserve social fabrics.


The Two Faces of George Bush in Africa (July 11, 2003)

President Bush's plan offers little promise to fight HIV/AIDS unless he shifts the US position on WTO rules for intellectual property rights prohibiting affordable generic drugs from entering African market. (Common Dreams)


Enlisting African Women to Fight AIDS (July 8, 2003)

A blueprint for shaping a response to the AIDS crisis must involve women, as rapid transmission occurs when women lack power in relationships, equal access to education, and economic independence. (Washington Post)


Bush's 'Surreal' Choice for AIDS Czar (July 4, 2003)

Activists criticize President Bush's pick for global AIDS coordinator because Randall Tobias is a former pharmaceutical company executive with no background in public health and AIDS. (Inter Press Service)


AIDS Funding Is Still Only Half of What Will Be Needed by 2005 (June 26, 2003)

A report by UNAIDS indicates that the multilateral Global AIDS Fund is starved of the resources it needs to provide essential medicine, health care, and prevention programs to highly infected populations.


AIDS Could Follow African Pipeline (June 18, 2003)

Oil companies building a pipeline through Chad and Cameroon promise to improve local health care systems, but once the project is finished, so too is the commitment to Africans. Health workers fear thousands of workers will spread HIV/AIDS upon returning home to their communities. (Los Angeles Times)


Billions for War on AIDS Will Go to Drug Firms (June 3, 2003)

Access to generic, lifesaving drugs is vital to the fight against the AIDS epidemic. Without a change in trade laws, developing countries will have to spend a majority of resources pledged by the G8 buying expensive drugs.(Independent)


Bush Delivers Emergency AIDS Relief to Republican Allies (June 1, 2003)

"Any US program that doesn't go through the Global AIDS Fund would have to buy US products from US companies and have to pay inflated prices for drugs that will go to fewer people and save fewer lives," said Salih Booker of Africa Action, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group. (Znet)

Fund the Fund to Save Families and Communities (May 27, 2003)

Non-profit group Global AIDS Alliance enhances awareness, increases funding, and improves policies on the global AIDS epidemic. GAA released a report on the current status of the UN Global AIDS Fund; its significance, along with charts indicating contributions by wealthy nations.


WHO Gives Approval to Anti-Tobacco Accord (May 20, 2003)

The World Health Organization approved its first public health treaty, requiring tough international measures to diminish tobacco use, limit marketing, and increase manufacturer liability. Developing countries took a leading role in crafting the treaty, citing a need of protection from tobacco multinationals. (Associated Press)


New Global AIDS Bill Meets Activist Skeptics (May 20, 2003)

The US Senate approved a five-year, $15 billion anti-AIDS package. Nonetheless, critics charge that the bill fails to allocate an adequate amount to the cash-strapped UN Global AIDS fund. (Foreign Policy in Focus)


Test of 15-Billion-Dollar Global AIDS Measure Comes Later (May 2, 2003)

Anti-AIDS groups are pleased overall about the US $15 billion package to fight HIV/AIDS, but object to the bill's endorsement of the so-called "ABC" (abstinence, being faithful, and condoms) strategy, which risks making condoms less accessible to those who need them the most. (Inter Press Service)


On Capital Hill, Ideology is Distorting an African AIDS Success (April 28, 2003)

Contrary to the religious right's single focus on abstinence, the Uganda AIDS prevention program embraces a full spectrum of anti-AIDS measures. The key to Uganda's success is committed leadership and total social mobilization. (New York Times)


Famine Chronic as AIDS Devastates Continent (April 13, 2003)

Relief agencies highlight the combination of poverty, war, corruption, the HIV epidemic, and the current food crisis, causing widespread devastation in Africa. UN officials call for a multilaterally coordinated campaign. (Los Angeles Times)


AIDS, Hurry (April 5, 2003)

Both the US Senate and House of Representatives are divided on how to approach health related humanitarian relief projects in Africa, as conservatives push for a religious-based pro-abstinence agenda. This Washington Post editorial criticizes the politicization of the humanitarian relief issue for a continent facing an unprecedented health crisis.


Gates Foundation to Give $60 Million to Women's AIDS Prevention (April 1, 2003)

Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates' foundation has pledged $60 million toward developing experimental microbicide creams that would prevent the spread of AIDS. Microbicides, which have been under development since the late 1980s, could give women a means to protect themselves from transmission without relying on cooperation from men. (Washington Post)


Brazil: A Model Response to AIDS (April 2003)

The Brazilian government, in partnership with social movements, allows for the production of generic antiretroviral drugs against AIDS, despite international patent laws. Brazil's example of successful public health programs in a developing country has given it clout to lobby effectively for global health policies.(Americas Program, Interhemispheric Resource Center)


Drug Giants "Next Tobacco" Warning (March 24, 2003)

An influential group of investors has warned the pharmaceutical industry that its refusal to make drugs more affordable to poor countries could jeopardize their investments. The group says that the AIDS crisis in particular could produce a social and economic meltdown in poor countries, with potentially disastrous consequences for the industry. (BBC)


Women Bear Brunt of AIDS Toll (March 23, 2003)

Entrenched patriarchy, changing cultural norms, and a surge in violent rape put young South African women particularly at risk for contracting the AIDS virus. According to a nationwide study of HIV prevalence, 17.7 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 are HIV-positive, compared with 12.8 percent of men. (Observer)


We Will Break the Law to Get Free Drugs – AIDS Activists (March 20, 2003)

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) will launch a civil disobedience campaign to press the South African government to include HIV/AIDS drugs in the public health system. The government claims that anti-retrovirals are ineffective, despite international consensus that they ease the effects of the disease and reduce infection rates. (Inter Press Service)


Experts Confirm Unsafe Sex Main Cause of HIV in Africa (March 17, 2003)

A group of UN health experts met in an urgent effort to address a recent study claiming that unsafe medical practices, not sexual intercourse, are responsible for the majority of AIDS infections in Africa. The UN experts dispute the claim as scientifically unfounded, and warn not to relax the emphasis on condom usage to prevent infection. (OneWorld US)


Politics of Abortion Delays $15 Billion to Fight Global AIDS (March 6, 2003)

Anti-abortion activists are pressuring President Bush to extend the "global gag rule" to block funding for AIDS programs within clinics that also perform abortions. Advocacy groups warn the debate could sacrifice a narrow window of opportunity to push an AIDS financing bill into law. (New York Times)


Waging A Global Fight More Efficiently (March 4, 2003)

According to Paul Zeitz, the Executive Director of the Global AIDS Alliance, Bush's recent pledge to increase spending on the fight against AIDS is not sufficient. Zeitz urges a comprehensive approach to combat AIDS, which includes debt cancellation for poor countries. (International Herald Tribune)


Dirty Needles Research Rejected (February 20, 2003)

The United Nations program on AIDS (UNAIDS) disputes the findings of an independent team of US based researchers that the majority of AIDS cases in Africa are transmitted through unsafe medical practices, not sexual intercourse. UNAIDS' chief scientific advisor warns that the hasty conclusions may reverse progress made in promoting safe sex in Africa. (BBC)

Of Aid and AIDS (February 5, 2003)

US President Bush's plan to increase funds to fight AIDS to $15 billion over five years represents a significant departure for the conservative administration, but AIDS activists are waiting to see if the Republican-controlled House will actually approve the funds. Experts also criticize the plan for reserving most funds for the end of the five years. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

AIDS Growth Shows Bleak Future (February 3, 2003)

South Asian leaders and policymakers met with representatives from NGOs and UN agencies in Kathmandu to confront the region's rapidly accelerating AIDS crisis. UNICEF director Carol Bellamy argued that education for young people, especially girls, is imperative to slowing the rate of infection. (Rising Nepal)

Kashmir Clerics Lead the Battle Against AIDS (January 31, 2003)

About 400 Muslim clerics in Indian administered Kashmir are using Muslim teachings to spread AIDS awareness. The clerics teach Islamic social values of abstinence and fidelity in the context of AIDS prevention. (OneWorld South Asia)

Africa Activists Denounce Bush's "Malign Neglect" (January 29, 2003)

The US is increasing its military presence in African oil-producing nations, but ignoring African people who need economic support, health and education. 20 million Africans have already died of HIV, a scourge "far more deadly than terrorist or the alleged existence of Iraqi weapons," says Foreign Policy In Focus.


UNFPA Says US Funding Cut Worsens Asian Condom Shortage (January 22, 2003)

UNFPA officials say a serious condom shortage in the Pacific Islands could dramatically increase HIV/AIDS levels in the region. The increasing demand for condoms cannot be met by UNFPA due to massive US funding cuts. (UN Wire)

Sex Workers Mobilize To Fight HIV/AIDS (January 22, 2003)

The United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS convened a first-ever conference bringing the UN and sex workers' associations together to talk about AIDS prevention. Stigma, exploitation and violence often limit sex workers' access to health services, impeding their ability to protect themselves from the disease. (UNAIDS)

US Official to Discuss Trade as Africa Hopes to Talk AIDS (January 13, 2003)

US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick will travel to Africa, in President Bush's place, to pitch a proposal for a free trade agreement between the US and southern Africa, but the AIDS crisis is conspicuously absent from his agenda. "Free trade doesn't work for the dead," said Asia Russell, director of international policy of the nonprofit Health Global Access Project. (New York Times)

AIDS Hasn't Peaked Yet -- and That's Not the Worst of It (January 12, 2003)

India and China stand at the precipice of an overwhelming AIDS crisis, while the ravages of the disease haven't even peaked yet in Africa. Still, a "lethal mix of ignorance, apathy and denial" among educated classes in rich and poor countries alike stalls the fight against AIDS. (Washington Post)

The Lack of Funding for HIV/AIDS is Mass Murder by Complacency (January 8, 2003)

Stephen Lewis, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, paints a devastating portrait of the many ways the disease is ripping African communities apart. Lewis emphasizes that Africa is ready to fight the epidemic, as soon as Western donors awaken from their murderous complacency. (United Nations)


UN Secretary General Kofi Annan writes in the New York Times that African women play a crucial role in Africa's ability to survive famine and the AIDS crisis. He argues that aid programs to Africa must address the soaring rate of HIV infection among women and increase women's capacity to provide for their families.

Children on the Brink 2002

This report is a collaboration of USAID, UNICEF and UNAIDS. It makes explicit that "HIV/AIDS has created an orphan crisis." The report measures the extent of the crisis, its impact on children, families and communities and offers strategies to assist orphaned children.

In China, AIDS Crisis Is at the Mercy of Global Commerce (December 5, 2002)

At a crucial moment in its burgeoning AIDS crisis, China must decide whether or not to disregard drug patents in order to manufacture affordable medicine. However, given that "China has cast its lot with the forces of global commerce" for economic development, AIDS sufferers may lose out to the government's desire to cater to foreign investors. (Washington Post)

HIV Total Tops 40 Million (November 26, 2002)

The United Nation's AIDS Epidemic Update 2002 warns that, while HIV prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa is "higher than thought possible," the epidemic in east, south and southeast Asia is still "in its infancy." The director of the World Health Organization calls this a "critical" moment for aggressive prevention campaigns. (BBC)

What AIDS Means in a Famine (November 19, 2002)

"Just as HIV destroys the body's immune system, the epidemic of HIV and AIDS has disabled the body politic," this New York Times article comments. The ravages of disease have eroded African communities' traditional strategies to cope with long droughts, compounding the effects of famine.

How AIDS Brings the Famine Nearer (November 15, 2002)

In southern Africa, the drought has hit countries with some of the highest AIDS rates in the world, crippling communities already at the brink of survival. (Christian Science Monitor)

UN Disease Fund Opens Way to Generics (October 16, 2002)

The UN Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will require poor countries to buy the lowest priced medicines on the market, including generic versions of patented drugs. Pharmaceutical companies have expressed surprising support for the decision. (New York Times)

HIV Drugs for Africa Diverted to Europe (October 3, 2002)

European wholesalers divert discounted AIDS drugs from African ports back to Europe, selling them for a profit. Nearly $18 million worth of AIDS medicines never reached impoverished AIDS sufferers in Africa. (Washington Post)

The Food Crisis in Southern Africa: Interview with Carolyn McAskie, UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator (September 16, 2002)

Carolyn McAskie reports that the AIDS epidemic greatly exacerbates the food crisis in southern Africa. She argues that the food crisis is "also a health crisis and an education crisis, and water crisis." (UN Integrated Regional Information Networks)

The Shadow of Death (September, 2002)

As famine spreads across southern Africa, discussions of bad governance, war, and debt overshadow the HIV/AIDS epidemic's devastating effect on Africa's economy. (Red Pepper)

HIV/Aids Drug Could Be Banned (August 4, 2002)

The fate of the controversial Aids drug nevirapine hangs in the balance, with the Medicines Control Council set to take a final decision on whether HIV-positive pregnant women in South Africa should continue using it. (Sunday Times Johannesburg)

In Southern Africa, Teen Abstinence is 'Cool' (August 1, 2002)

In Zambia a USAID funded program is "sending out a strong abstinence message and promoting consistent condom use among youths, as part of an attempt to combat the spread of AIDS." Though the program seems to have positive results, many Zambian Christian groups are fighting to end it. (Christian Science Monitor)

In Denial About a Deadly Future (August, 2002)

Le Monde Diplomatique reports in depth on the struggle to find treatment as a poor, HIV positive person in South Africa. This article asks the question, "will economic and health apartheid result in another popular uprising in South Africa?"

The Unequal AIDS Burden (July 18, 2002)

In Sub-Saharan Africa, HIV positive women bare much of the responsibility of caring for the sick while uninfected women remain sexually vulnerable to HIV infected males. The Chrisitan Science Monitor stresses that "if we are to tame and reverse the AIDS epidemic, we need to protect women's human rights."

Alarming Portents on Frontier of Russia's AIDS Crisis (July 14, 2002)

Kaliningrad, a geographically isolated region of Russia, is "the newest front of Russia's AIDS epidemic." Almost all HIV/AIDS cases are due to drug use. However, it is now being documented that "a sharp increase in HIV infections through sex," is likely to spread the disease further. (New York Times)

Whistling Past the Global Graveyard (July 14, 2002)

This article points out that "AIDS has always created a chasm between rich and poor. [...] Perhaps the most glaring symbol of this divide is the tepid Western response," pledging only $2 billion, "to the United Nations request of $10 billion a year to fight AIDS." (New York Times)

Kenya's Slums Battle AIDS (July 10, 2002)

The Christian Science Monitor reports on KICOSHEP, "one of the best examples in Africa of a homegrown, privately funded AIDS prevention program," providing education and community activities. […] Today, KICOSHEP is being modeled by other AIDS prevention groups in Kenya.

Lack of Cash Poses Biggest Problem in Fight Against Aids (July 9, 2002)

"Doctors and people with HIV/AIDS plan to stage ‘massive' protests at the14th Aids International Conference in Barcelona." While the conference will focus on whether to support prevention or treatment, protesters see the lack of funding, in general, for the fight against AIDS to be the real issue. (AllAfrica)

Bush Backtracking on AIDS a Slap in the Face for Bono (July 1, 2002)

As the US government is patting itself on the back for its commitment to fight AIDS in Africa through aid assistance, the Philadelphia Inquirer points out that the numbers just don't add up to very much.

To Help Africa Battle AIDS, Write Off Its Debt (May 20, 2002)

The author calls on US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill to cancel Africa's debts so the countries can spend more money to fight AIDS and educate their citizens. O'Neill is exposed to the deepening poverty as he completes a tour of Africa with U2 rock star Bono. (Los Angeles Times)

AIDS Ravages Ranks of Teachers (May 8, 2002)

A World Bank study shows that AIDS is killing teachers faster than new teachers can be trained, while population growth is increasing the need to expand education. These trends reflect a worsening AIDS crisis, as education remains essential in preventing the spread of the disease. (BBC)

Kenya Facing Acute Shortages of AIDS Drugs (April 23, 2002)

Difficult access to anti-retroviral drugs forces Kenyans with HIV/AIDS to change doses or use alternate medications, which can cause them to contract drug-resistant strains of HIV. (Inter Press Service)

The Global Fund: Which Countries Owe How Much? (April 21, 2002)

The Global AIDS Fund's efforts to raise money through voluntary donations have failed, with governments and the private sector contributing little. A new proposed framework charts the amount of money wealthy countries should give based on GDP. (Health and Development Networks)

South Africa Announces Aids Policy Turnaround (April 18, 2002)

AIDS activists hail the South African government's pledge to distribute a state-funded AIDS drug to victims of rape and sexual assault. The announcement comes a month after a court ruling demanding that government make the drug available to pregnant women. (Guardian)

UN Agency on Population Blames US for Cutbacks (April 5, 2002)

The UN Population Fund has been forced to cut programs and staff numbers as a result of a US decision to withhold $34 million in funding. Amy Coen, president of Population Action International, calls the move "politically motivated," endangering the progress made in family planning initiatives in the developing world. (New York Times)

South African Women Gain Access to AIDS Drug (April 4, 2002)

Responding to a court ruling, the South African government agreed to make anti-AIDS drug Nevirapine available to pregnant women. WHO recommends Nevirapine to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV-AIDS from mothers to babies. (Reuters)

China's HIV Crisis (March/April 2002)

Foreign Affairs reports on the grave consequences of China's delayed response to a now potentially uncontrollable epidemic of HIV/AIDS. It argues that "accepting that there is a problem is only the first step on a tortuous road to containing the epidemic."

Nigeria Hosts AIDS/HIV Summit (March 5, 2002)

A one-day sensitization summit on HIV/AIDS will be held in Nigeria on March 9, 2002, and is expected to attract governors, traditional rulers, labor leaders, student leaders and Nigeria's development partners. Organizers hope that an action agenda leading to the control of the disease's spread will be drawn during the summit. (Daily Trust)

WFP Pioneers Food Aid Strategy to Counter HIV/AIDS (March 4, 2002)

In collaboration with three other UN agencies, the WFP (World Food Program) has identified a strategic need for food aid among poor families whose major bread-winner is suffering from HIV/AIDS. (World Food Program)

Life Expectancy of Africans Set to Dip under 50 (February 11, 2002)

Africa is "characterized by abject socioeconomic conditions," and its people "blighted by poverty, civil war and disease," a high OAU official said, citing poverty and high birthrates as preventing effective and well-resourced measures to fight the continent's HIV/AIDS pandemic, responsible for a dramatic decline in life expectancy. (United Nations Integrated Regional Information Networks)




No Letting Up on AIDS (November 29, 2001)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan writes in the Washington Post about AIDS and stresses the importance of fighting the disease. He states that we have the roadmap, the tools and the knowledge for this fight but that the political will must be sustained.

AIDS Epidemic Update (November 28, 2001)

This UNAIDS Report warns that the epidemic continues in upswing. The Eastern European region shows the fastest rising number of HIV infections but even high-income countries follow the trend. The report calls for effective prevention programs as well as expanding access for treatment. (UNAIDS)

The Wrong Model (November 5 , 2001)

This Save the Children's report suggests that liberalization of trade in health services give economic interests priority over public health. Trade liberalization can result in impoverishment of families and increase health problems among children.

AIDS (October 5,2001)

An UNAIDS report presents data on certain risk groups in specific locations in order to provide a more detailed picture of the evolving epidemic in the Asian region. UNAIDS does not want to be alarmist but stresses the importance of precautionary actions.(Washington Post )

Roche and the Brazilian Ministry of Health Reach Agreement for Supply of HIV Drug Viracept (August 31 2001)

The Brazilian government and the Swiss pharmaceutical company, Roche, have reached a consensus whereby the latter will cut its price of Viracept by 40%. This move will allow the Brazilian government to make substantial savings to be invested in the country's health sector. (Roche)

Brazil to Ignore Patent on AIDS Drug (August 23, 2001)

Declaring AIDS as being a "national emergency", the Brazilian government has decided to violate the patent rights of drugs used to combat AIDS. This unprecedented step would allow generic copies of a brand-name drug to be made without the permission of the company owning the patent. (Washington Post)

UN Chief Tells Youth to Join AIDS Fight (August 13, 2001)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called on youths worldwide to join the war against unemployment and HIV/AIDS. Annan cited reports that many people are dying of the epidemic across the globe while others are starving due to poverty brought about by unemployment. (Manila Bulletin)

NHS Healthcare Lags in World Efficiency List (August 10, 2001)

World Health Organization (WHO) produced a list of countries ranked according to healthcare efficiency. This WHO publication sparked a storm of protest from some countries, especially developed nations, which felt they had been given unjustly low ratings. It is time for rich countries to review whether their healthcare systems provide equitable treatment for both their rich and poor citizens. (Guardian)

African Bishops Slam Condom Use in Aids Fight (July 31, 2001)

Catholic bishops from southern Africa condemned the use of condoms to fight the AIDS pandemic, claiming that it was immoral and encourages casual sexual relationships before marriage. "Abstain and be faithful (in marriage) is the human and Christian way of overcoming HIV-Aids," the bishops said. (Daily Mail and Guardian, South Africa)

Southern Sickness, Northern Medicine: Patently Wrong (July, 2001)

After two decades of lethargy international organizations finally launched a war against the HIV epidemic. While the UN is setting up a new health fund for HIV/AIDS, its agreement with the giant pharmaceutical companies may fail to provide desperately-needed care for millions in developing nations. (Le Monde Diplomatique)

Global Apartheid (July 7, 2001)

Member states' apathetic response to the AIDS crisis reflects a double standard characteristic of the apartheid system, which was built on a foundation of the old inequalities of slavery, colonialism and the aftermath of cold war crusades. (Nation)

US-Islamic Alliance Hits Aids Hopes (June 28, 2001)

The conservative Bush Administration and some Muslim governments succeeded in diluting the final UN declaration of commitment to strategies and targets to combat the global AIDS epidemic by removing any reference to homosexual men. (Guardian)

Dying for "Free Trade" (June 2001)

The US is placing increasing pressure on the Thai delegation to the WTO as well as Thailand's Food and Drug Administration in an effort to have US patent rights on branded drugs respected. "With 750,000 people living with HIV, [Thailand] is in fact one of the countries worst hit by the epidemic. (Third World Network)

Islamic Nations Block AIDS Pact Again (June 27, 2001)

Led by Malaysia, a group of Muslim nations has declared that it would not support the UN pact on AIDS, despite having achieved a concession that cut all mention of homosexuals, prostitutes and drug use from the document. (Age)

Dollars, Debt and Drugs – Responding to the AIDS Crisis (June 25, 2001)

Activists from various advocacy groups stressed that if wealthier nations would forgive the loans, Sub-Saharan Africa could use the $13 billion it spends annually to service its debts to instead build up health and education infrastructure and buy medicines. (Drop the Debt)

Youth Against AIDS (June 23, 2001)

An innovative campaign anchored to popular teenage culture is slowing down the rate of HIV-infection among one of the Zambia's most vulnerable demographic groups: older teenagers in urban settings. (UN Integrated Regional Information Network)

UN: AIDS Conference Whitewash (June 20, 2001)

The US, the Vatican and Egypt are attempting to remove from the draft declaration of the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS any mention of that "men who have sex with men, sex workers, and injecting drug users [and] their sexual partners" are particularly at high risk of HIV infection. Human Rights Watch maintains that the denial and discrimination against these groups are likely to fuel the spread of the epidemic. (Human Right Watch)

UNIFEM Calls on World Leaders to Make Women's Role Central in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS (June 19, 2001)

UNIFEM's most recent statistics reveal that 1.3 million women died of AIDS last year, and teenage girls in Sub-Saharan Africa are 5 times more likely to be infected than boys. UNIFEM Executive Director Noeleen Heyzer stressed that the AIDS crisis is not simply a matter of social justice but also an issue of gender inequality. (UNIFEM)

Bill Gates Donates $100 Million to Fight AIDS (June 19, 2001)

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation bestowed $100 million to the UN health fund to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in anticipation of a key UN conference on AIDS next week. The spokesman of the Foundation said that fighting the disease was a "top priority" for Gates. (Associated Press)

Seeking a Remedy for AIDS in Africa: Continent's Woes Limit Reach of Cheaper Drugs (June 12, 2001)

AIDS experts agree that the recent price cuts by some of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies in antiretroviral drugs were an important and welcome step. The experts, however, say the effort will have an only limited effect until social and economic conditions improve. (Washington Post)

Swiss Firm Gives UN $1 Million to Fight AIDS (June 9, 2001)

While UN is struggling to increase international support to combat HIV/AIDS, the Credit Suisse Group became the first private corporation to donate to the new UN global AIDS and Health Fund. (Washington Post)

Differences on Sex Hold Up Crucial UN AIDS Session (May 29, 2001)

Delegates failed to reach consensus on a draft declaration for the UN AIDS summit in June. One of the issues in dispute was the sexual education for women and on widespread access to condoms for women as well as men. (Reuters)

In the War on AIDS, a UN Official Accents Prevention (May 28, 2001)

Peter Piot says the issue of AIDS drug prices has overshadowed the fact that the poor and vulnerable still lack the most basic means of infection prevention. More attention must be given to the problem of shortage of condoms. (New York Times)

AIDS Fund Giving Lags as Nations, Agencies Wrangle (May 24, 2001)

This Boston Globe article is pessimistic about the progress of the global AIDS fund. Rich nations are not coming up with the necessary funds, and international groups are arguing over control of the initiative.

HIV/AIDS Devastating Rural Labor Force in Many African Countries, Says FAO (May 10, 2001)

According to a new FAO report, HIV/AIDS related deaths will reduce the labor force by as much as 26 percent by 2020 in the ten most affected African countries. (FAO Press Release)

Brazil: US Protects Drug Companies (May 3, 2001)

Brazil's AIDS chief Paulo Teixeira accused the Bush administration of protecting the interests of drug companies instead of promoting cheaper drugs to fight AIDS in developing countries. (Associated Press)

Toward a Global AIDS Fund (May 2, 2001)

The global AIDS fund, proposed by Kofi Annan in the African summit on HIV/AIDS, is likely to be handicapped by a lack of leadership from the United States. (New York Times)

Secretary General Calls For National Leadership and Local Involvement (April 30, 2001)

Kofi Annan addresses the Council on Foundations and calls upon them to exercise "responsible use of private wealth for the public good" in the fight against HIV/AIDS. (UN Press Release)

African Agreement Adds Impetus to AIDS Battle (April 28, 2001)

African leaders have signed a declaration which calls on the African states to aim at spending 15 percent of their national budgets on health programs, including a significant proportion on AIDS. (Associated Press)

UN's Annan Proposes Global War Chest to Fight AIDS (April 26, 2001)

At the African summit on HIV/AIDS in Abuja, Nigeria, Kofi Annan proposed a multimillion dollar global fund to combat HIV/AIDS. The Secretary General also called on African leaders to stop the "abuse" and "discrimination" against those infected. (Reuters)

Drug Giants Made to Swallow Bitter Pill (April 19, 2001)

The pharmaceutical companies have withdrawn their case against South Africa on AIDS drugs patent rights. A blow for corporations but a moral lesson. (Guardian UK)

South Africa to Rule on AIDS Drugs (April 14, 2001)

Next week 39 drug companies go to trial over patent rights, to fight a law which allows South Africa to import cheap AIDS drugs. It seems that patent laws are more important than the 33 million people in Africa with HIV/AIDS. (Wired)

Pharmaceutical Companies Back UN on AIDS Drugs (April 5, 2001)

Drug companies are agreeing to lower prices, but a supply of the drug would cost over a year's wages for most Africans. At the same time, pharmaceutical companies are suing South Africa for patent violations in the manufacture of cheaper AIDS drugs. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur)

War Against HIV/AIDS Gets Dutch Funding (April 4, 2001)

An initiative by the Tanzanian government to involve all stakeholders in the battle against AIDS has received funding from the UN Development Program (UNDP) and the Danish government. (Panafrican News Agency)

The Best Possible Investment in Africa (February 10, 2001)

To provide medical help for Africa, $5-10 billion a year is what is required in the next decade to fight AIDS. This is a remarkable bargain for what US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, has said is a national security issue for the United States. (New York Times)



UN Security Council Resolution 1308 on HIV/AIDS (July 17, 2000)

UN Report Warns of AIDS Complacency (December, 2000)

With the availability of treatment for aids, education programs have become less in wealthy nations. But is the catastrophe over for them? (Associated Press)

AIDS and Debt: Africa's Deadly Combination (December, 2000)

This article indicates that AIDS cases have increased dramatically in heavily indebted countries because resources are diverted from health and education towards unproductive debt servicing. (Jubilee2000)

AIDS to Hit African Work Force Hard, ILO Says (December, 2000)

Africa could lose twenty-five to thirty-five percent of its work force to AIDS, an ILO study reports. (Reuters)

AIDS Leaves Africa's Economic Future in Doubt (Winter 2000)

With more than a quarter of the working force infected with HIV/AIDS in sub Saharan Africa, economic growth is likely to reduce in the years ahead. (CNN)

Global Spread Of HIV/AIDS Epidemic Exceeds Past Predictions (November 30, 2000)

A report shows that the epidemic is spreading at an alarming rate in Russia and sub Saharan Africa still has the highest HIV infection rate. It therefore urges AIDS-ravaged countries to devote more resources, energy and creativity and use schools to stop the spread of HIV. (UN Press Release)

Rate Of HIV/AIDS Stabilizes In Sub Saharan Africa But.. (November 29, 2000)

Although effective government responses to fighting the epidemic and prevention has helped reduce the rate of infection in most African countries, cases in Kenya and Ethiopia continue to rise. ( Inter Press )

Tragic Reason for AIDS Decline (November 29, 2000 )

A new United Nations reports says that the epidemic has only reduced in Africa because it has struck so many people already. (News24)

Worldwide, Regional Impact of AIDS (November 28, 2000 )

A UNAIDS estimate of the AIDS epidemic region by region for the year 2000.(Associated Press)

Security Council Meeting on "The Impact of AIDS on Peace and Security in Africa" (January 2000)

Links to speeches,statements and a summary of the Security Council's debate on AIDS and security in Africa.



AIDS, Development, and the East Asian Crisis (October 25, 1999)

In an address to the 5th International Conference on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, a World Bank senior economist indicated that AIDS could wipe out Asia's gains over the past two decades unless governments in spite of their economic woes fund social welfare programs.

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